The HyperLinq Weekly Digest is the one-stop source for the HyperLinq community to access relevant news involving digital assets, where we essentially outline key industry updates that our members may have missed. We are always open to suggestions and feedback so please do not hesitate to let us know what you think!
Binance KYC Breach — Did It Happen, and If So, Who’s to Blame? : Shiraz Jagati | CoinTelegraph
On Aug 7, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, fell victim to a hacking scandal that saw the miscreant allegedly gain possession of a huge chunk of the firm’s Know Your Customer data. The hacker is reportedly demanding a total of 300 Bitcoins from the exchange, or else he or she will release all of the data. Also, it bears mentioning that upon commencing his activities, the hacker set up a couple of dedicated Telegram groups that allegedly featured a lot of the sensitive material. However, since all of this data lacked a digital watermark that Binance typically uses for its internal information, there are doubts regarding the authenticity of this material. However, Binance’s performance has only continued to improve ever since. It is also worth mentioning that soon after the incident came to light, the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao , took to Twitter to tell his followers that they should not fall into the "KYC leak" FUD. However, this remark does not seem to address the heart of the issue: If it’s true that sensitive KYC data was leaked online, it puts a lot of people’s privacy and digital security at risk. If the stolen data turns out to be real, the 10K+ leaked images in question could be worth a lot of money to various criminals. It is alleged that Platon offered to assist Binance when the exchange was hacked back in May. He was apparently able to track the people who stole the 7,000 BTC from the premier trading platform as well recover over 60,000 KYC files associated with the company’s customer base. Platon claims that the hacker could gain access to all of this information by infiltrating the account of a company insider who allegedly installed a back door into Binance’s trading module — thereby allowing the hacker to make off with the aforementioned sum of crypto.
Billionaire Mark Cuban: ‘I See Gold and Bitcoin as Being the Same Thing’ : Max Boddy | CoinTelegraph
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team, has said that he hates gold as an investment, and views Bitcoin as fundamentally similar to gold. He emphasized that to convey his feelings on gold as an investment, he would have to say,
"Hate with extreme prejudice is not enough. Hate with double-extreme prejudice with an ounce of hot sauce"
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the origin of the term "digital gold" to refer to Bitcoin is unknown, but one theory is that it came into vogue after The New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper published his book "Digital Gold" back in 2015. Sonya Mann, the head of communications at the Zcash Foundation, discussed her answer in terms of both its finite quantity and supply and demand factors. Mann, for her part, appears much more optimistic than Cuban. She remarked:
"Bitcoin is deflationary by nature, due to the capped 21 million supply and the clever incentive structure that has reliably safeguarded its inviolability. The emergent order governing Bitcoin, as both a software product and a phenomenon, is undeniably path-dependent, attributable in large part to Satoshi Nakamoto's design decisions"
No Humans Required: Commerzbank Develops Blockchain Payments for Automated Trucks : Daniel Palmer | CoinDesk
Commerzbank has developed a blockchain-based solution for machine-to-machine payments that it says could be used to allow automated trucks to pay for power charging without the need for a human to get out their wallet. Calling it a "concrete pilot project", the German bank worked together with its incubator research and development unit and Daimler Trucks on the system that it said "deals with fully automated payment processing of charges between a tank charging station for electricity and a lorry system". In test transactions, Commerzbank put euros on the blockchain system and and sent it to Daimler Trucks for the settlement of the payment. The bank doesn’t explain much of the detail, however, for example how euros are transacted on the system or how the charging station would receive and process the payment. "Current payment systems can not yet map such a fully automated payment process", the bank said. According to Stephan Müller, divisional board member of transaction banking at Commerzbank, the new blockchain platform is part of his institution’s increased focus on blockchain tech. Commerzbank said that the pilot has "proved" that in future the payment process for automated machines can proceed fully autonomously.
Researchers Discover New Cryptocurrency-Focused Trojan : Ana Alexandre | CoinTelegraph
Computer analysts at cybersecurity firm Zscaler ThreatLabZ have found a new type of trojan that targets cryptocurrency users. In a blog post published on Aug 8, the company reveals that it identified a new remote-access trojan that is able to capture administrative control of the targeted computer, retrieve browser history and look for activities involving cryptocurrency, credit cards, business, social media and others. Zscaler recommends that individuals do not download or open files from untrusted sources and states that network administrators should block unused ports, turn off unused services and monitor outgoing traffic. Earlier this week, news broke that Chinese state espionage cyber unit APT41 are targeting cryptocurrency- and video game-related businesses. The malware, dubbed "LoudMiner", uses virtualization software — VirtualBox on Windows and QEMU on macOS — to mine crypto on a Tiny Core Linux virtual machine, thus having the potential to infect computers across multiple operating systems. A report by cryptocurrency intelligence firm CipherTrace published in April estimated losses from digital currency theft and scams in the first quarter of 2019 at $356 million, with additional fraud or misappropriated fund losses amounting to $851 million in the same period.
Ex-Coinbase CTO Is Behind Mysterious Nakamoto.com, Sources Say : Brady Dale, Zack Seward | CoinDesk
Nakamoto.com is a website that’s more than twice as old as bitcoin, and for most of its life, it has just redirected to a San Francisco developer’s personal website. Now, though, according to two industry sources, it’s under the ownership of one of the best-known investors in crypto: Balaji S. Srinivasan, former Andreessen Horowitz partner, founder of Earn.com and former chief technology officer of Coinbase. As of now, potential users can only enter their email address and await more information. Srinivasan never directly responded to multiple attempts to confirm he was running the site, but in a recent tweet he recommended a go-to-market strategy similar to the one the site appears to be using. While little is known of its future plans, the site’s past is well documented. Records show a transfer was made in July 2018, however. The information on the current owner is masked by a proxy, Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
US DOE Dedicates $1.05 Mil to Blockchain Energy Management Platform : Kollen Post | CoinTelegraph
The United States Department of Energy has awarded a grant worth $1.05 million to organizations working to commercialize a blockchain-based energy transaction platform. The news comes from an August 9 press release shared by energy company ComEd, one of the grant’s four reported recipient organizations. The others are the University of Denver, Virginia Tech and BEM Controls, a company specializing in energy management software. This latest grant is to expand and promote a new blockchain-based energy marketplace, with ComEd to use its Grid of the Future Lab to demonstrate the new system’s functionality. The new initiative is expected to be in development for three more years. According to Dr. Per the press release, BEM Controls cited security of a broad range of transactions as a primary reason for implementing blockchain in their platforms. The DOE has shown growing interest in using blockchain in energy grid applications. As previously reported, in January, the department announced $4.8 million in funding for tech research including blockchain for purposes like securing data from fossil power generation sensors.
National Stock Exchange Becomes World’s First to List a Tokenized Security : Daniel Palmer | CoinDesk
Seychelles’ stock exchange has just listed a tokenized security for trading, becoming the first in the world to do so. The exchange, MERJ, is licensed by the Indian Ocean nation’s Financial Services Authority as a securities exchange, clearing agency and securities depository, and is launching the token to represent its own equity. MERJ told CoinDesk it is using the ethereum blockchain to record the share register ownership, saying that, currently, "it is the best supported protocol for these purposes". Now seen on MERJ’s listings page, the tokenized security takes the ticker symbol "MERJ-S" and is currently trading at $2.42, with a stated market cap of $21,015,781. Founded in 2013, MERJ says that being licensed as an exchange, clearing house and CSD, it’s well placed to "deliver on the many benefits of tokenization". "Whether they’re issuing tokenized or traditional shares, companies are not going to want to go to a jurisdiction that doesn’t meet high international standards because it will attract greater scrutiny from global regulators", said Tuohy.
Expert: India Will Lose an Almost $13 Billion Market by Banning Crypto : Max Boddy | CoinTelegraph
Sidharth Sogani, the CEO of crypto and blockchain research firm Crebaco Global Inc, believes that India will lose around $12.9 billion worth of market if cryptocurrency is banned in the country. Sogani shared his reasoning with the news outlet AMBCrypto, which reported the matter on Aug 8. According to the report, Crebaco’s methodology included an analysis of how much revenue companies might have generated if crypto was ruled to be legal, as well as crypto companies with Indian founders who moved offshore due to the Reserve Bank of India’s banking ban.
"They will have to regulate it, because if they don’t, it will raise a question as how they will implement a ban on a population of 130 Crore people They dont seem to have the mechanics of doing that, given India is country of 1.3 billion people"
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, a governmental panel in India officially recommended that the country ban cryptocurrencies on July 22.